COVID-19 Testing, Tracing, and Results

Information on this page is subject to change as provincial guidance is updated.

If you have questions related to COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines, please call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information line at 1-888-777-0730 or visit the Public health measures and advice webpage.

COVID-19 treatments are available for free by prescription in Ontario to people who are eligible and who are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Learn more

Getting tested

 Who is eligible for testing when they have COVID-19 symptoms
You are eligible for PCR or rapid molecular testing if you have COVID-19 symptoms and part of any of the following groups:
  • People aged 70 years and older
  • People aged 60 years and older who have less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Adults aged 18 years and older who have had less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine and have high risk conditions
  • Other people at higher risk of severe disease who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment if they tested positive
  • Pregnant people
  • Patient-facing health care workersStaff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings including:
    • Hospitals, including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services
    • Congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to, long-term care homes, retirement homes
    • First Nation elder care lodges
    • Group homes
    • Shelters
    • Hospices
    • Correctional institutions
    • Hospital schools
  • Household members of staff in highest risk settings and patient-facing health care workers
  • Home and community care workers
  • Staff and students in Provincial and Demonstration Schools
  • International agriculture workers in congregate living settings
  • Patients seeking emergency medical care, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • Other outpatients for whom a diagnostic test is required for clinical management, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • People who are under-housed or experiencing homelessness
  • First responders, including fire, police, and paramedics
Who is eligible for testing whether they have symptoms or not

Whether you have symptoms or not, you are eligible for PCR or rapid POC molecular testing if you:

  • are an individual from a First Nation, Inuit, Métis community, and/or who self-identifies as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis and their household members
  • are an individual travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work
  • are being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting
  • are a close contact of someone in a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a highest risk setting, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
  • are scheduled for a surgical procedure requiring general anesthetic in the next 24-48 hours
  • have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does
  • are scheduled to receive treatment for cancer or prior to hemodialysis in the next 24-48 hours, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • newborns born to people with confirmed COVID-19 at the time of birth within 24 hours of delivery, with a repeat test at 48 hours after birth if baseline test is negative, or if the parental test results are pending at the time of discharge

If you have symptoms but are not eligible for testing, assume you have COVID-19 and follow provincial COVID-19 health advice.

If you are a contact of someone with COVID-19

  • Public health will continue to investigate cases associated with highest risk settings (including long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, shelter or congregate settings).  
  • If you are a high-risk close contact of someone with COVID-19, HPPH or the Provincial Working Group may contact you, or send you a letter, but we are not contacting everyone. 
  • Visit the provincial Public health measures and advice webpage for information on what to do if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have not symptoms. 

Rapid Antigen Testing

Huron Perth Public Health does NOT have rapid antigen tests for distribution. Please see the relevant categories below for information on how to access rapid antigen tests. For more information on what to do if you get a positive rapid antigen test result or are symptomatic, please visit the provincial webpage, Public health measures and advice

Rapid antigen tests for individuals

Ontarians can get a free rapid antigen testing kit for at-home use. For more information about rapid testing for at-home use and to find a list of participating retail locations, visit the webpage, Rapid testing for at-home use.

Rapid antigen tests for small businesses and organizations

All businesses under 150 employees can access rapid antigen tests through participating Chambers of Commerce, free of charge. These kits are for screening employees on a regular basis, not to be held in storage. Please visit the Ontario Chamber of Commerce webpage for more information. 

Provincial Antigen Screening Program for employers

The Provincial Antigen Screening Program is a program that allows employers to add an additional safety measure in workplaces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Participating in rapid, on-site testing may facilitate the identification of an individual infected with COVID-19 in the workplace, and may prevent asymptomatic individuals from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 in the workplace. 

Rapid antigen tests can be accessed through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program by any organization permitted to be open and that has employees working on-site.

Businesses are encouraged to visit the provincial webpage, Free rapid antigen tests for organizations for more information on how to access free rapid antigen point-of-care tests for workplace screening. If you have questions about using rapid antigen tests in your workplace, please email covid19testing@ontariohealth.ca or go to the rapid antigen testing section of Ontario Health's COVID-19 Health system response materials webpage. 

Please note that rapid tests kits are considered hazardous waste, and require proper management. For more information about disposal please refer to the Province's Safe handling and management of rapid antigen COVID-19 testing waste webpage. 

COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment

Antiviral treatments , such as Paxlovid, are now available for free by prescription to individuals with COVID-19 who are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. These treatments must begin within 5 to 7 days of symptoms starting.

Individuals may be at higher risk if they are:

  • 60 years of age or older
  • 18 years of age or older and are immunocompromised
  • 18-59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, including having:
    • chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease)
    • inadequate immunity against COVID-19 from:
      • not receiving a full primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine
      • having received a full primary series but no COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection within the past six months

Based on an individual's circumstances, a health care provider may determine that treatment is right for them even if they do not belong to one of the groups above.

The use of antivirals in children under the age of 18 is not routinely recommended. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, such as for children who are severely immunocompromised and/or have multiple risk factors. Speak with a physician or nurse practitioner or contact a clinical assessment centre to learn more.

To determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and should be assessed for treatment, use the Provincial COVID-19 antiviral treatment screener.

Antiviral treatment is not a substitute for vaccination and is intended for those who are at higher risk of severe outcomes. To learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.

How to get COVID-19 antiviral treatment (if eligible) 

If you have symptoms (even if mild) and are at higher risk of severe COVID‑19, seek testing and care immediately by either:

  • contacting a pharmacist who is prescribing Paxlovid
  • visiting a clinical assessment centre (where you can get tested, assessed and treated or a prescription)
  • contacting a primary care provider (for example, your family doctor or nurse practitioner)

You can use a rapid antigen test if you have one, but it’s important to understand that these tests may be negative in the early stage of infection. If you do not have a rapid antigen test, or if your test result is negative, seek PCR testing and clinical assessment immediately.

If you are high-risk and do not have a primary care provider or are having difficulty accessing care, contact Health Connect Ontario by phone at 8-1-1 or visit the Health Connect Ontario website to chat with a nurse online for more information on antiviral treatments, assistance or eligibility for virtual care options.

If you do not have symptoms but are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, talk to your primary care provider about getting pre-assessed for treatment in case you get sick with COVID-19.

Available antiviral treatments

Paxlovid

Paxlovid is an antiviral medication that can be taken by mouth at home. Treatment must begin within five days of the start of symptoms.

  • Paxlovid can be prescribed to eligible patients by any physician or nurse practitioner and, beginning Monday, December 12, participating pharmacists. Individuals should contact their local pharmacy to confirm if the pharmacist is prescribing Paxlovid and how to get a prescription.
  • Before you get treatment:
    • You must give your health care provider a list of any medications (including any natural health products or vitamins) as well as any important medical conditions or allergies.
    • Your health care provider will decide if any changes to your medications are necessary before safely taking Paxlovid or another treatment.

Remdesivir

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that must be taken intravenously (IV) via designated clinics. Remdesivir treatment must begin within seven days of the start of symptoms.

Preventive treatment (Evusheld)

Evusheld is a single dose of antibodies (two injections at the same time) that provides protection for immunocompromised individuals from COVID‑19 for at least six months. It may lower the chance of getting sick from COVID-19. Evusheld is not a substitute for getting COVID-19 vaccines for people who are able to  get vaccinated.

Evusheld requires a prescription and is only authorized for patients who:

  • are not positive for COVID‑19 at the time of treatment
  • are 12 and older
  • have certain health conditions that make them higher risk and need additional protection, including:
    • solid organ transplant recipients
    • stem cell transplant recipients
    • CAR-T therapy recipients
    • other hematologic cancer patients undergoing treatment
    • people receiving anti-B-cell therapy (such as rituximab)
    • people with significant primary immunodeficiency

If you have one of these health conditions, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1 to see if Evusheld is right for you.

Getting a test for travel

Getting a test for travel
In order to receive a COVID-19 test for outbound international travel and to receive a valid travel certificate you must pay for a private COVID-19 test. Testing and assessment centres in Huron Perth do not provide travel-related testing. A test done at a local assessment centre will not be sufficient to meet the requirements for international outbound travel.

Huron Perth Public Health does not provide results of private COVID-19 tests or provide information for travel certificates.

Private COVID-19 tests, and travel certificates, for outbound international travel are available through the following:

This list is for information only. The inclusion of a pharmacy or testing location on this page does not indicate an endorsement or involvement from Huron Perth Public Health.

Getting a test before surgery

 Getting a test before surgery
Individuals who are scheduled for a surgical procedure requiring general anesthetic are eligible for a COVID-19 PCR test. 

Check the table below to see which local testing centres offer pre-op testing. 

You can also check surrounding areas for testing centres that offer pre-surgery testing: https://www.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations

Your primary healthcare provider may be able to provide a test. Call them directly to find out about booking a pre-surgery PCR test.

How to get tested (if eligible)

  • For a complete list of current eligibility, please see the Province’s webpage: COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • To book an appointment, call your primary healthcare provider or contact the community assessment centre or pharmacy directly. 
  • Assessment centres are managed by local primary care under the Ontario Health agency. HPPH provides the following list of local assessment centres for community information; please contact a local assessment centre for more details.

Locations of COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinics and COVID-19 testing in Huron Perth

The Stratford, Goderich, and Grand Bend assessment centres have transitioned to COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinics (CCFCCs).  These clinics offer assessment, testing and treatment for people with COVID-19 and other cold and flu-like illnesses without going to a hospital. 

Consider visiting a CCFCC if:

  • You do not have a primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner)
  • Your symptoms or your child’s symptoms are getting worse or are not improving, and you feel that you need medical care
  • You have been told by any health professional to go to a COVID, Cold, and Flu Care Clinic
  • You are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and you qualify for COVID-19 testing and treatment
LocationContact informationHours of operationHow to get a test

Stratford CCFCC 

[operated by Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance] 

Stratford Medical Centre (Stratford Family Health Team office)

444 Douro St., Stratford

519-272-8210 ext. 2747

Physician assessment:

Monday to Friday | 12-5pm 

COVID-19 swabbing: 

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday | 9:15am-4:30PM

  • By appointment only
  • To book an appointment for a physician assessment, use the online booking tool or call
  • Call to book a COVID-19 test
  • More information, including eligibility, at www.hpha.ca/covid19 
  • Pre-surgery testing available

Grand Bend CCFCC 

69 Main Street, East Grand Bend

519-238-2362

Tuesday & Friday |
2-3pm

**Hours subject to change based on volume**

  • By appointment only
  • Call to book an appointment or book online
  • Will accept self-referrals
  • Pre-surgery testing available

Goderich CCFCC

Michaels Pharmasave

2nd Floor

181 Cambria Rd. N.,

Goderich

519-612-2320

Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays | 1pm-5pm

 

*Closed Dec 24-Jan 1

  • By appointment only; call to book an appointment
  • For COVID-19 positive patients who are not rostered to a physician, or unable to see their family doctor
  • Pre-surgery testing available

Stratford Huron and Matilda Shoppers Drug Mart (COVID testing only; not a CCFCC)

511 Huron St., Stratford 

519-271-9195 Monday-Sunday |
8am-10pm
 

Getting your test results

  • Turnaround time for test results varies.
  • Results are given through the provincial COVID-19 test results online portal and require a photo health (OHIP) card or a testing label with MRN (medical record number).
  • Please discuss alternative arrangements to receive testing results if you:
    • Do not have a photo health OHIP card (green card)
    • Have a red-and-white OHIP card
    • Do not have access to the internet
    • Are unable to understand a website in English

If, after seven days, your test results have not appeared online contact Huron Perth Public Health.

Antiviral treatments for COVID-19 can help prevent serious illness if taken quickly after symptoms start (within the first few days). They are available in Ontario for free to anyone with a prescription. A health care provider, such as a physician, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist can determine if treatment is right for you, which includes whether or not you are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

You may be at higher risk if you are any of the following:

  • 60 years of age or older
  • 18 years of age or older and are immunocompromised
  • 18 – 59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 including having:
    • chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease)
    • inadequate immunity against COVID-19 from:
      • not receiving a full primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine
      • having received a full primary series but no COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection within the past six months

The use of antivirals in children under the age of 18 is not routinely recommended. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, such as for children who are severely immunocompromised and/or have multiple risk factors. Speak with a physician or nurse practitioner or contact a clinical assessment centre to learn more.

To determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and should be assessed for treatment, use the Provincial COVID-19 antiviral treatment screener.